Ryanair has expanded its flight schedule this summer to include 26 new routes to popular holiday destinations.

The updated summer 2021 schedule includes over 2,300 weekly flights across 480 routes to destinations in France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Highlights include flights to holiday hotspots such as Corfu, Santorini, Menorca, Ibiza, Faro and the Canary Islands, and city breaks to Barcelona, Lisbon, Naples, Rome and Venice.

The low-cost carrier has also launched a seat sale until March 28 to coincide with the news, with fares available from £19.99 for travel until the end of October. Customers will be able to benefit from the airline’s free flight change waiver, which has been extended until October 31, 2021.

This news comes in spite of the government’s recent announcement that fines of £5,000 will be levied on people who travel without a reasonable excuse prior to June 30. The airline states that it is confident that summer travel will be possible due to the “UK’s roadmap for the re-opening of air travel, coupled with their highly successful vaccination programme”, and is publicising summer holidays until October 2021.

According to the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown, international travel is set to resume on May 17 at the earliest, though a surge in Covid-19 cases across Europe may impact this date. The government’s Global Travel Taskforce is set to issue recommendations on the restart of travel from April 5.

Ryanair’s Group CEO, Michael O’Leary, said:

“The UK Govt has implemented a very successful vaccine rollout programme, and is on track for a re-opening of EU short-haul travel this summer. Ryanair is pleased to offer even more choice and lower fares to our UK customers and their families with over 2,300 weekly flights and 480 routes to choose from, including 26 exciting new holiday connections to Naples, Rhodes, Chania, Alicante and Mallorca among many others.

“UK families can now book a well-earned summer holiday safe in the knowledge that if their plans change for any reason they can move their travel dates up to two times with a zero-change fee up until the end of October 2021.

“To celebrate, we are releasing seats from just £19.99 for travel until the end of October 2021, which are available to book until midnight Sunday (28th March). Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com to avoid missing out.”

To further prepare for the return of international travel, the carrier recently launched a new ‘Travel Wallet’ section of its mobile app, allowing customers to upload negative Covid-19 results and vaccination certificates.